Bahadurgarh: Ahead of the Haryana Assembly polls, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday stirred a controversy after fielding Naveen Dalal from Bahadurgarh constituency. Dalal is one of the two people accused of attacking former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union leader Umar Khalid last year.

The 29-year-old self-proclaimed ‘gau rakshak’ said he joined the Shiv Sena six months ago because he felt parties like the BJP and the Congress only did politics in the name of cows, farmers, martyrs and the poor, The Indian Express reported. He also said that the support of the people motivated him to join politics.

When asked about Dalal’s candidature, Vikram Yadav, Shiv Sena’s Haryana (south) chief, said: “He has been fighting for issues like cow protection and speaking up against those who raise anti-national slogans. Hence, we have chosen him.”

In August last year, Umar Khalid was shot at by an unidentified man outside Constitution Club of India in New Delhi.  However, he had escaped the attack unhurt.

Naveen Dalal and his accomplice Darvesh Shahpur had taken responsibility for the attack on Khalid in a video which had gone viral on social media. The duo in the video, said that they had planned to disrupt the event ‘Khauff se Azaadi’ and the attack was an Independence Day gift to the countrymen. The two men were later arrested from Fatehabad in Haryana’s Hisar district.

Meanwhile, when asked about the Khalid incident, Dalal refused to entertain any questions saying he was busy in election campaigning. He is currently out on bail in the case and the matter is pending before a sessions court.

The Haryana by-elections are scheduled to be held on October 21 and the results for the same will be announced on October 24.